Kinks Frontman Ray Davies Receives Knighthood

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Ray Davies

He’s a well respected man now! Ray Davies, the 72-year-old co-founder of the British Invasion greats The Kinks, has been knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours. Reacting to the designation, bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to the arts, Sir Ray—as he will now be officially titled—said, in a statement to the press, “Initially I felt a mixture of surprise, humility, joy and a bit embarrassed. But after thinking about it, I accept this for my family and fans as well as everyone who’s inspired me to write.”

The knighthood is not the first honor that Davies has received from his country. In 2004, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Davies the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Davies, in his songwriting, has often portrayed various aspects of British society. The 1968 album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society portrayed the passing of a simpler way of life in England, while the 1965 hit single “Well Respected Man” mocked the staidness of the upper crust, “doing the best things so conservatively.”

Related: The Kinks’ 1972 album Everybody’s in Showbiz was reissued in 2016, in a deluxe edition, of course

Ray Davies, who was the Kinks’ chief songwriter, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, co-founded the group in 1963 with his brother, lead guitarist and vocalist Dave Davies, bassist Pete Quaife and drummer Mick Avory. They broke up in 1996. Ray and Dave have long been antagonistic toward one another and estranged, but in December 2015 rumors of a Kinks reunion were fueled when Ray joined his brother on stage during a gig at Islington Assembly Hall.

The Kinks in the 1960s

Those rumors were quickly dispelled by both brothers. “I’m still trying to live that down,” Ray later said. “I joined him on stage briefly but it would be overly romantic to think it was because of the show or to start talking about a reunion.”

Related: About those reunion rumors

Among others, New Years honors are also being given to actor Mark Rylance, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, comic Ken Dodd, various Olympics athletes, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and actress Naomie Harris, who has played Moneypenny in James Bond films. Nearly 1,200 individuals in all are receiving honors from the Queen this year, most for work in their local communities.

Watch Ray Davies sing the Kinks Klassik “Celluloid Heroes”

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